Who is your beloved? Whom do you cherish above others and care for the most? That person is the apple of your eye. No wonder David requested of God, “Keep me as the apple of your eye” (Psalm 17:8). God so loved and cared for His people that Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 32:10, “He shielded them and cared for them, guarding them as the apple of His eye.” God so treasures His word and laws that He said, “Keep my commands and live, my teaching as the apple of your eye” (Proverbs 7:2). King Solomon in his Song of Songs 2:5 said, “Strengthen me with raisin cakes, and refresh me with apples, for I am weak with love.” The refreshing property of apples was acknowledged by the wise King Solomon.
In the Garden of Eden, God provided varieties of delicious apple fruits for Adam and Eve to eat and enjoy good health. Therefore, the history of apple fruits started with the creation of the world about 6,000 years ago. Apple fruits are cultivated in most parts of the world and there are more than 7,500 varieties, with about 2,500 varieties grown in the USA.
Martin Luther was quoted as saying, “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” This sounds funny but it reveals the value Martin Luther placed on apples. Apple is such a popular fruit that virtually everybody eats it.
Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), an English physicist and mathematician, observed an apple fall from a tree and wondered how the fruit was able to fall on its own. His question and reasoning led him to think of the Universal Law of Gravitation. Bernard M. Baruch said, “Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why.”
The saying that an apple a day keeps the doctor away is a scientific fact. This simply means that eating apples keeps you healthy – a fact which many people do not know. Nutritional scientists have proven the health benefits of apples, beyond doubt over the generations. Nature has put many health-promoting ingredients in the apple fruit, thereby making it an ideal fruit for everyone. Apple contains quercetin, an antioxidant that protects the brain cells from free radical damage, resulting in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinsonism. It prevents cells from initiating cancer. Quercetin is also found in green tea, red wine, garlic, tomatoes, grapes and berries. Pectin contained in apples lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol and increases the good cholesterol thereby keeping down the blood pressure. The phytonutrients in apples can help regulate the blood sugar by preventing spikes in blood sugar through a variety of mechanisms. It slows down carbohydrate digestion. Querctin and other flavonoids found in apples inhibit carbohydrate-digesting enzymes like alpha-amylase and alpha-glucoside. In addition, the polyphenols in apples have been shown to lessen absorption of glucose from the digestive tract; to stimulate the beta cells of the pancreas to secrete insulin; and to increase uptake of glucose from the blood. All of these mechanisms triggered by apple polyphenols can make it easier for you to regulate your blood sugar. It also supplies galacturonic acid, which lowers the body’s need for insulin.
Apple lowers the risk of particularly lung cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer and liver cancer. It has outstanding ability, among other fruits, in the lowering of lung cancer risk. It has health benefits in asthma. Apple’s anti-asthma benefits are definitely associated with the antioxidant anti-inflammatory nutrients found in the fruit. It also contains a flavanoid called phoridzin, which increases bone density. Those who want to lose weight should eat apples. Recent research has shown that people report less hunger after eating apples. When apples are eaten before a meal, the caloric intake at that meal is decreased. Therefore, it helps us manage our hunger and feeling more satisfied with our food.
Apples have relatively low glycemic index (GI) of 38, compared with other fruits like orange (43), mango (55), pawpaw (58), banana (62), pineapple (66), and watermelon (72). The GI tells you how quickly a food turns into sugar in your system. High GI foods spike your blood sugar rapidly, while low GI foods have less effect. Diabetics, in particular, should take more of fruits with low GI like apples and reduce consumption of the ones with higher GI. Apple fruits are rich in fibers which help to protect mucous membrane of the colon from exposure to toxic substances by binding cancer-causing chemicals in the colon. The fiber found in apple may combine with other apple nutrients to provide you with the health benefits that are particularly important in prevention of heart disease through healthy regulation of blood fat levels.
Apple fruit contains good quantities of vitamin-C and beta-carotene, which are powerful antioxidants. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body. In addition, apple fruit is a good source of B-complex vitamins, such as riboflavin, thiamin and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6). It also contains small amounts of minerals like potassium, phosphorus and calcium.
Potassium is an important component of cells and body fluids helping to control heart rate and blood pressure; this counters the bad influences of sodium.
Apple has properties that no other fruits have individually. Apple combines everything other fruits have and this makes it a unique fruit. Consumption of apples makes one healthy and keeps the doctor away. This cannot be said of oranges, bananas, mangoes etc. The big question is how many apples do you eat in a month? Even Americans, on the average, eat an apple a week.